Back to Resources

Issue Brief: Plant-Based Beverages Labeled as Milk and the FDA's Standard of Identity Regulations

posted on Tue, Mar 12 2019 11:45 am by The Network for Public Health Law

Recently, the popularity of plant-based beverages that label themselves as “milk,” e.g., almond milk or soymilk, has skyrocketed. This growing popularity is accompanied by legal controversy.  Can these products legally call themselves “milk”?  Many have argued they cannot, including the National Milk Producers Federation, the International Dairy Foods Association, and a bi-partisan group of 32 congressmen. Opponents of this labeling practice argue that this is an issue of consumer protection, and that this potential product confusion has nutritional ramifications. This issue brief examines the major legal underpinnings of this debate, and looks at the current developments at the Food and Drug Administration that could definitively address this question.

View/download the Issue Brief.